Cambridge Consultants has delivered a prototype design of a Bluetooth-based radio module which provides new opportunities to drive down the cost of remote metering. The device allows meters to be wireless-enabled at a low cost, opening the door to high integrity consumer activated schemes.
The radio module is currently fitted to an Actaris ACE1000 single phase electricity meter designed for residential applications. Actaris is offering samples to clients worldwide who are investigating remote reading schemes. Using the new module, consumers with Bluetooth mobile phones, laptops or PDAs have the option of taking meter readings themselves and communicating them to the utility over the Internet or GSM.
The module also supports walk by meter reading by utility personnel, using low cost commercially available devices such as smart phones. Actaris has had a proprietary radio module for remote reading available for some five years, which has already entered service in mainland Europe. The company says that progress in wireless standards since then offers the means to advance remote reading schemes still further, and the prototype Bluetooth design will allow its client to evaluate the potential.